Photo by Bear Cieri

Photo by Bear Cieri

By the time ArtsRiot—a performance venue and restaurant on Pine Street—began hosting its weekly, now-celebrated Friday Night Truck Stop in 2013, food trucks had wheeled swiftly into the Vermont dining world. Truck Stop brought dozens of vendors to a concrete parking lot in the belly of the South End arts community, from Southern Smoke and their stacked pulled pork sandwiches to fat burritos at Taco Truck All Stars and a traveling broccoli bar from Pingala Café, which proved there are myriad ways to enjoy a paper boat of broccoli.

Burlington VT food trucks


Since then, the micro-restaurants that make up Burlington’s food truck scene have continued to mushroom. In a state with relatively low foot traffic, stunning rural landscapes and an attention to local ingredients that often brings the table straight to the farm itself, it makes sense that Vermont naturally takes to meals that meet you where you are. This could mean lunch hour at Beansie’s Bus, a retrofitted 1944 school bus selling Americana staples near Battery Park, or shao mai and cha shao buns from A Single Pebble’s Tuesday stop at Adams Apple Orchard & Farm Market in Williston.

 Jamaica Supreme, based in South Burlington, is a destination on wheels for owner Bilon Bailey’s jerk chicken, oxtails, and curry and veggie patties, all washed down with Ting or ginger beer. One day you might find Babas Tacos parked at Veterans Memorial Park, or outside the small clapboard taproom at Frost Beer Works. (There are few things as satisfying as eating outdoors on a nice day, particularly when it’s a picnic of expertly made carnitas tacos, crispy flautas and Babas’ take on a wet burrito, smothered in homemade queso salsa.) A “buff banana” smoothie with honey and cinnamon from The Green Mountain Smoothie Truck fuels long-distance bike rides, hikes and mornings spent outside on the grass along Lake Champlain. 


In the summer, Farmers & Foragers sits dockside at the Burlington Harbor Marina, turning out farm-sourced dishes inspired by global street fair, like crispy squash blossoms, duck wontons and local pork belly banh mi. After grabbing a growler to-go from Foam Brewers near the Burlington Waterfront, you’ll sometimes spot Dos Feos, a bright blue emporium of vegan food slinging gooey Matty Melts, buffalo-fried cauliflower and tacos made with lion’s main mushrooms in the style of shreddy, tomatoey chicken tinga. Under the open Vermont sky at clean-energy food cart Micro Mobile Kitchen, engineer-meets-cook Daryoush Khamnei serves up Persian fare inspired by his childhood in Tehran— rotating staples like his signature ground lamb kabab and traditional ghormeh sabzi (an Iranian herb stew) have a devoted local following.


There are many more half-hidden and traveling gems in the ever-deepening pool that is Burlington’s mobile kitchen community. All it takes is to go outside and find them. And happily, they’ll occasionally find you. This is a feat in a state that’s seventy-six percent forested, but maybe that makes food trucks a perfect match for the Green Mountain State. Here, it’s normal to spend big chunks of time outdoors, on the road, and supporting the people that serve the local bounty — on wheels or otherwise.

For other ideas about what to do around Burlington, check this out!